Washio is the nation’s leading on demand dry cleaning and laundry app, providing 24-hour turnaround service for customers in six cities across the country: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Boston and Washington DC.
Jordan Metzner, Washio’s founder and CEO, has been earning the respect and confidence from the venture capital investment community at every stage of growth these past three years. Metzner, a Los Angeles native, sat down with LATechWatch to talk about Washio’s path to success.
How is it different?
Washio prides itself on customer service. We strive to provide a seamless and pleasurable experience for our clients. From 1-hour pick-ups, to constant updates on the location and status of your clothes, Washio wants people to stop worrying about their laundry and can get their personal time back to do things they love. We also give customers a sweet treat, like a cookie or brownie, with every order. They love that. And if customers have unwanted, gently-used clothing in their closets, they can give it to Washio and we will deliver it to a local non-profit organization that we have partnered with in each city.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
If you hate doing laundry or spending precious time going back and forth to the dry cleaners, then you are in our target market. We’re focused on making life easier for everyone. Our customers tend to be from all backgrounds and verticals, ranging from college students to techies to C-suite professionals.
What is the business model?
Washio has the best washing & dry cleaning facilities in each city to deliver top-notch quality service. Customers tap a button and one of our friendly “ninjas” will come and pick up your clothing and return it in 24 hours.
What inspired the business?
I always disliked doing my own laundry. So when I saw what was happening with Uber and how smartphones were able to fundamentally change how services are performed, I thought that providing an on demand laundry service would be something that people would really embrace. Fortunately, I was right.
Do you have any idea what happens to that one sock that seemingly disappears in the washing machine to never be found again?
We do our best to make sure we never lose a single sock – or any of our customer’s clothes!
In the next six months, we are focused on continuing expansive growth in our current markets while opening additional markets across the country…and we have some surprises up our sleeves too.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
Bill Gurley, one of the best investors of all time. He has incredible insight into the tech investing community and he really understands marketplace dynamics.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
Los Angeles has always been a city full of highly creative, intelligent and driven people. Hollywood is a testament to that. Now LA’s technology scene – Silicon Beach – is really coming into its own and making a name throughout not only the U.S., but the world. I was born and raised in LA and I’m thrilled to have started Washio here. I’m so happy to see my hometown succeed on the global tech front.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
Teaching kids as young as ten years old to follow their dreams of building companies. I didn’t get to take my first course on business until I was in college…that can change very easily.
What’s your favorite after work activity in Los Angeles?
First Fridays. Koreatown for BBQ and karaoke, and summertime pier concerts.